Hybrid-electric vehicle technology from Flybird

Posted on 29 Apr 2019 and read 417 times
Hybrid-electric vehicle technology from FlybirdSilverstone Park-based Flybrid is emerging as a leader in the development of the latest hybrid energy storage solutions, following investment from an international manufacturer of automotive powertrains.

The company has undergone a major restructure in the past 18 months with one of its original engineers (and later commercial director) Tobias Knichel being appointed managing director.

Under his leadership, the company has secured significant investment from (and become a subsidiary of) Belgian-based Punch.

Mr Knichel said: “We had recently been focusing predominantly on the heavy-duty off-highway market; Punch’s investment allows us to also offer our flywheel solutions in other markets.

By combining our flywheel energy storage module with electric motors — sourced from volume production suppliers — we can create a very effective hybrid-electric vehicle technology.

“It’s always about optimising the powertrain, no matter what the energy source is or what application is targeted. The flywheel is very good at dealing with the dynamics of a duty cycle, so you can focus the main powertrain around a narrow optimised operating range — this significantly improves the efficiency.”

Although Punch (www.punchflybrid.com) is based in Belgium, Mr Knichel says it values keeping Flybrid’s hybrid technology at Silverstone Park.

“Punch realises that advanced engineering in the UK is really strong — particularly in this region around Silverstone.

"All our key engineers live in this area; you cannot simply transfer that expertise to another set of engineers in another country.

"Being part of the Punch Group, we can now combine the excellent facilities and proven volume production expertise of Punch in mainland Europe with our key knowledge here in the UK.”

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